The Black Woman's Career Playbook

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5 Ways Women Can Be Their Own Cheerleaders at Work

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Present Yourself Well
Photo Credit: JGI/Jamie Grill

As a black woman in corporate America, you’ve likely struggled with getting your work noticed.  It can be tricky to gain recognition and praise without coming off as haughty or boastful. But it must be done, and no one is going to a bigger cheerleader of your work than YOU.  Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D., author of the bestselling business book, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, has some powerful tips. Here are 5 Ways Women Can Be Their Own Cheerleaders. Go Team, Go! 

Speak Life. Erase “Oh, it was nothing,” and “No problem” from your vocabulary.  Replace them with phrases such as, “I worked hard on that.  Thanks for noticing” or “My team and I are proud of the results and we appreciate your positive feedback.”  These statements acknowledge the compliment without minimizing your efforts.  

Less Isn’t Always More. When introducing yourself, always use your full name, title, and say something that distinguishes you from others.  For example, “My name is Jackie Beasley and I’m the Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Manufacturing.  I’m proud that I partner with him to create open avenues for communication so that our clients are well-served.”  No matter what your position, you add value and being your own cheerleader means letting other people know that you do.  

Out of Sight, Out of Mind. Don’t expect the boss to remember your achievements over the past year.  About six weeks before performance review time, send a summary of your key accomplishments along with a short e-mail to the effect, “I know performance reviews are coming up and I thought it might be helpful if I summarized my recent accomplishments. Let me know if I can do anything else to help with the process.”

Show Up & Show Out. Attend networking and social events that will have senior executives in attendance.  Before going, mentally prepare a business question that demonstrates your understanding of the market or mention a project you’ve been working on and how it’s meeting a need. Don’t wing it. Cheerleaders are always prepared!

Social Butterfly. Use social media to your advantage.  Don’t hesitate to post announcements for when you’ve gained additional skills or certifications, are given awards, or get a new job with additional responsibilities.  It’s not bragging – it’s simply reporting.  

Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office was revised and updated for its 10th anniversary release in February, 2014.  Follow Dr. Frankel @drloisfrankel. 

This article was originally published in the April 2014 issue of ESSENCE magazine.

Filed Under: Career Playbook
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